How much time do you spend on cardio when you’re at the gym? Cardio or aerobic exercises are not just good for your heart, but they’re also beneficial for your sexual function. So if you’ve been ignoring the treadmill lately, here are several reasons why you should try spending more time on it.
Heart Disease Prevention
Aerobic exercises are also called cardio exercises specifically because they’re good for cardiorespiratory conditioning. Any type of aerobic exercise can help keep your blood vessels, lungs, and heart healthy.
Your lipid profile may also improve significantly improve if you regularly perform cardio exercises. Your total cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels may also be reduced when you engage in regular aerobic exercise.
Aerobic exercise is perfect for pushing your body into a caloric deficit because it enables you to really burn those excess calories for energy. This is why experts always say you should do cardio exercises if you want to lose weight.
A 2017 study on obese young men showed that middle to high-intensity aerobic exercise can significantly reduce body weight and waist circumference. In this study, the participants had to perform aerobic exercise for an hour thrice weekly for a period of 12 weeks.
Controlled Blood Sugar Levels
Type-2 diabetes affects more than 30 million Americans. When uncontrolled, diabetes can cause your organs to become damaged. In men, diabetes can also result in impaired erectile function.
When your blood sugar levels are constantly high, it causes damage to your blood vessels and nerves. The nerves and tiny blood vessels in your penis are particularly vulnerable to this type of damage. In addition, diabetes also causes your testosterone levels to drop significantly.
Aerobic exercise has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity and help control blood sugar levels.
Reduced Risks of Dementia
One way to prevent dementia or delay its onset is to stay physically active. A 2014 meta-analysis showed that high levels of physical activity can reduce the risks of dementia by as much as 18%.
Another study published in 2017 showed that aerobic exercise led to improvements in Disability Assessment for Dementia scores. Sixty-eight older adults with probable Alzheimer’s disease participated in the study. The exercise intervention lasted for 26 weeks and consisted of aerobic exercise for a total of 150 minutes per week.
Reduced Symptoms of Depression
According to the World Health Organization, more than 300 million people are afflicted with major depressive disorder. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in 2017 alone, the number of depression-related suicide deaths was more than 47,000.
A recent study showed that moderate-intensity aerobic exercised performed for an average of 45 minutes thrice a week for at least two months had a significant antidepressant effect on adults with major depressive disorder.
The authors noted that even aerobic exercise interventions that lasted only 4 weeks also resulted in moderate improvements in depression symptoms.
Improved Erectile Function
When your penile arteries are unable to supply sufficient blood to your corpora cavernosa, that can lead to a condition called arteriogenic or vascular erectile dysfunction. It simply means that you’re unable to get an erection because your blood vessels aren’t functioning well enough to fill your penis with blood.
A 2011 meta-analysis revealed that erectile function scores are positively affected by aerobic exercise interventions. Both continuous and interval aerobic exercise have been found to help manage erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular diseases.
The authors of a more recent study recommended that men with erectile dysfunction should engage in moderate to high-intensity aerobic exercise for 40 minutes four times a week.